Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Scholes feels Man Utd ‘have to be’ contenders for major midfield star after Liverpool left door open

Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, James Maddison, England, March 2023

Former Manchester United man Paul Scholes believes the club “have to be” contenders to sign Jude Bellingham after Liverpool left the pursuit.

Bellingham is one of the world’s very best talents. That was evident when his Borussia Dortmund career was in its infancy, following a £25million move from Birmingham as a 17-year-old.

Now in his third season with the Bundesliga side, it’s all the more clear. Bellingham has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, as well as providing seven assists.

That tally includes four goals and an assist in seven Champions League games. He’s also worn the Dortmund armband on a number of occasions, and is still only 19.

Following his meteoric rise, a number of clubs have registered an interest. The main names of late have been Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

However, reports have stated the Reds have pulled out, deciding to use their cash on a summer rebuild.

The aforementioned sides are likely to still be in the mix to land Bellingham.

And while they don’t seem to be right at the top of the pile, so are Manchester United. Their interest has been quieter than the rest, but remains nonetheless.

Scholes feels United ‘have to be’ in Bellingham race

Former United man Scholes thinks they’re in with a chance, too.

“I think they are. I think if you’d have gone back a couple of years you’d have said absolutely no chance, or even to the start of this season – the start we had wasn’t really good – but now I think they have to be,” he said on BT Sport.

Indeed Scholes feels the upwards trajectory of the Red Devils could potentially lure Bellingham in.

“Looking at this team now he’ll think this is a team that are up and coming for the next couple of years.

“Hopefully he comes here because this is a team now with someone like Bellingham and his goals in the middle of the pitch, I think he could make United a proper team.”

Real Madrid will provide major competition

However, Scholes’ expectations that United could be in the race are tempered by the presence of Real Madrid.

“I do think he’ll sign for Real Madrid – I don’t know why, I’ve just got that feeling,” he added.

His BT Sport colleague, Owen Hargreaves, has a similar expectation regarding the Spanish side, though he also feels there’s a chance Bellingham is tempted by United’s project.

“If he looks at it personally, he looks at Casemiro and he looks at [Bruno] Fernandes, with Bellingham in between, he could be thinking ‘that could be me.’” Hargreaves said.

“But, I’m with Scholesy, once Real Madrid come knocking they always tend to end up going there.”

Reports at the beginning of April suggested Bellingham had ‘distanced himself’ with Real, while also stating he was being ‘pressured’ by family to ‘try his luck’ in the Premier League.

While that would put United ahead of Real, it remains to be seen how true that is.

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